Scenario Number 13

John and Helen place an order for bedroom units and are told it will take about six weeks for delivery. They are amazed to be asked for the full payment in advance as they had expected only to have to pay a deposit.

Can shops charge the full price in advance in circumstances like this?


Yes. The shop is entitled to ask for full payment in advance with an order. The shop is going to have to order the goods especially for the customer and they do not want to be left with these goods if the customer changes his/her mind. Many consumers seem to think that if they change their mind about goods they have ordered, they can simply cancel the order and, at most, lose no more than their deposit. This is NOT the case. The shop can require customers to take the goods that they have ordered and to pay for them in full. Problems can arise in situations where the customer is unsure about whether the shop can be trusted. There have been some high profile cases where shops took payment in full for goods and then ceased trading leaving the customer with nothing. In situations where goods cost over £100, it is worthwhile considering paying by credit card because if the shop should cease trading, the consumer can claim his/her money back from the credit card company. However, consumers should also bear in mind that they may have to pay interest charges if credit card accounts are not cleared at the end of the month. John and Helen could always decide to order their furniture from a different retailer who may not ask for full payment so far in advance of delivery.

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